The home of Christopher White at 11 Oak St. in Jay is cordoned off with crime scene tape after a fire Sept. 18, 2021. White, 53, pleaded guilty Monday to reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon. Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal file photo

FARMINGTON — A Jay man pleaded guilty Monday to reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon in a fire that damaged a car, a motorcycle, a truck and his house at 11 Oak St. on Sept. 18, 2021.

A felony charge of arson was dismissed against Christopher S. White, 53.

He was sentenced to two years in prison, with all time suspended, and two years probation.

A conviction for arson is punishable by up to 30 years in prison; a conviction for reckless conduct with dangerous weapon is punishable by up to five years in prison.

White was burned in the fire and taken to a hospital for treatment. He was arrested in Portland in October 2021 and indicted by a Franklin County grand jury in March.

Assistant District Attorney James Andrews said Monday in Franklin County District Court that if the case had gone to trial a witness would testify that she heard a gunshot outside her house, looked out and saw White walking away. He came back and fired another round into a car.


Livermore Falls police Lt. Joseph Sage would have testified that he responded to the residence and saw a car, pickup truck and motorcycle were on fire and flames spreading to the house. He would also testify that he saw White with a shotgun and a scoped rifle, Andrews said.

White intended to set the vehicle on fire but did not intend to set fire to his house, the assistant district attorney said.

“He was distraught over a breakup,” Andrews said Sage would testify.

Christopher White Maine Department of Public Safety photo

A neighbor took a video of the scene, which is in a congested residential area, and a state fire investigator reviewed it.

The fire spread from the vehicle to the house.

White admitted during an interview that he intentionally set fire to his vehicle, and he understood he had endangered people, including officers, and felt bad, Andrews said.


“This was a very dangerous event that could have been worse,” Justice Thomas McKeon said.

White’s attorney, Jason Ranger, said his client had never had a conviction on a criminal charge.

“In this occasion the use of alcohol has really inflamed the situation, Ranger said, noting the pun was not intended.

The state was concerned that it get a felony conviction and that White not have access to firearms, Andrews said. As part of the conditions, White must continue mental health treatment.

The insurance company didn’t cover the damage.

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